Posting regular blogs and news stories can drive traffic to your website, improve your Google rankings and ultimately win you new business – but getting it right can be tricky. Hilary Campton of Nottingham marketing consultancy V Formation, shares some top tips for writing effective blogs.
Fresh, relevant and targeted blog posts can improve your search engine rankings (helping potential clients to find you more easily); provide content for your social media and digital communications; reassure existing clients that you are at the top of your game, and help drive new enquiries and new work.
But, coming up with content ideas and writing compelling and interesting blogs that appeal to readers as well as ticking Google’s SEO boxes can be a challenge. To help you get started, here are a few golden rules to follow when thinking about a new article…
Top tips for writing successful blogs:
1. Focus on topics that you are familiar with. Content ideas could come from: the questions clients or potential clients regularly ask you; market trends; and successes you’ve had on behalf of clients. Do a regular ‘content trawl’ in the office or at team meetings.
2. Keep it simple – one idea per blog works best.
3. Aim for between 400 and 750 words.
4. Focus on providing a practical insight and outline advice rather than getting drawn into an overly detailed analysis.
5. Think about who you are writing for and keep them in mind throughout.
6. Consider using tips and lists. Not least because it will help you to break things into manageable (and easily readable) chunks.
7. Don’t be too clever with the title; remember you are trying to appeal to both google and readers who may be searching on quite specific terms.
8. Make sure you can summarise the article in 30 words or less to help the reader quickly work out if it’s relevant to them. And put the firm name in the intro if possible.
9. Be clear about what it means to clients and potential clients – why should they care? What is the ‘so what’ factor and what action should / could they take?
10. Use sections, headers and bullet points to break up the text. If your content management system allows, use H1 and H2 tags for titles and headlines and ensure they feature your key words.
11. Use images relevant to the story and ensure they have ‘alt tags’. Check that you have the right to use the images.
12. Once you have written it, make sure you share it regularly on your social media channels using different intros and hooks. Consider writing a version as a Linkedin blog post.
Starting a blog is the easy bit; keeping it going can be harder! Whether your boss has asked you to get blogging on behalf of the business or if you’ve identified it yourself as a way to engage with current and existing clients, following these 12 tips may help make the blog writing process a little easier.